Why We Homeschool

I never would have dreamed I would homeschool.  In fact, my plan before having children was to stay home with them until they started school and then go back to work and teach language arts or math at most likely a public school.  However, children change us and God changes us.

While in Germany I met a number of US military families who homeschooled or were homeschooled.  I loved how connected their families were and the faithfulness I saw in many of them.  During that time, I also gave birth to my first child.  As a stay-at-home mom, I got to watch him learn to crawl, take his first steps, say his first words.  I begin helping him learn lots of other things and realized I really enjoyed teaching him. I truly cherish our time together, even when it's hard. I also read a book, by accident, that really challenged and changed my perspective some on parenting.  The book is called Disciple Like Jesus for Parents by Alan Melton and Paul Dean.  I wrote a review about it here.  This is not a book about homeschooling but rather a book about leading your children like Christ led his disciples.  As my husband and I started studying the Bible more about raising children we decided that in the beginning it would be better for us to teach our children at home.  This is a personal choice, not something that is for everyone or something we expect everyone to agree with us on.  Many and most of our friends do not homeschool and probably never will. That is okay.  Like I said, this is just what we felt was best for our family for now.  I don't know how long we'll homeschool.  Right now, we're taking it one year at a time.  Teaching your child or children at home is NOT easy and takes a lot of work and patience.  There are days when I'll admit, it would be easier for me to send my child to school.

Here are our reasons that we homeschool. 

1. God: Our number one reason for homeschooling is we feel that we called by God to homeschool.  Our number one goal is for our children to grow up knowing about God and Jesus.  We want our children to know they are loved, and cared for.  After lots of studying and prayer, even some arguing and questioning God, we felt we needed to go ahead and homeschool. Here are some of the passages we used to help guide us and remind us of why we are doing this.  Neither one of us were homeschooled so this is all new to us.  

Ephesians 6:4 states: “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” 

Deut. 6:5-7 says “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” 

2 Cor 10:5 says “…bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” How can we make sure they learn to bring every thought captive to Christ if they are spending 80% of their day with someone else? 

Proverbs 22:6: "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Especially when they are young, we feel like teaching them at home is the best way for us to achieve our number one goal.  

And finally, Romans 12:2: “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” We had to let go of preconceived notions of what we thought homeschooling looked like and remember that we do not answer to this world but to Christ.

2.  Academics: Learning at home is the oldest form of education. Academically speaking, homeschoolers typically rate 37 percentage points higher than public school students. The average homeschool 8th grade student performs four grade levels above the national average (Rudner study). Teaching my children at home, I can make sure they have mastered each subject, we can work at the right pace for each of them, are able to teach one-on-one, not twenty-something to one, and can make the best curriculum choices for their needs. 

3. Opportunity: There are so many awesome opportunities for spiritual, character, academic, social, and family time when homeschooling.  I truly believe the traditional American family is disintegrating. It's too easy to over-commit and be on the "go" from one activity to the next without spending quality time together.  When you homeschool your children, you are with them the majority of the time.  I lost my mother at a young age, I missed out on learning so much about her because as a child, mostly because we stayed very busy.  From going to traditional schools, homework, sports, dance, gymnastics, and other activities, we rarely were at home.  Children are with us for such a short period of time.  I don't want them to grow up and think I didn't spend enough time with them.  3 hours a day isn't long enough for me.  I honestly love spending time with my children. 

4. Socialization: This used to be a hard one for me.  The main thing I liked about going to school was seeing my friends.  In fact, I got in trouble quite a bit for talking too much in class. Since most people typically think about children going to school to learn how to "socialize" and make friends, this is what I used to think. Some have told me about the weird homeschool kid they knew. I think back and remember all the "weird" kids at both my private and public schools I attended. There are frankly goofy people everywhere you go.  :) Thankfully, I misunderstood this misconception and after talking with many other homeschooling families have realized that some of the best and most fruitful social experiences happen outside of school.  In fact, some of my best friends growing up didn't even go to school with me. I met them through church, sports, and work. The neat thing about socializing is that since I've stayed home with my kids since they were born, I'm used to planning playdates and meeting up with friends. As they get older there are more activities to get involved in. My son has played tennis, basketball, and soccer. He's done gymnastics since he was a toddler. My daughter will start gymnastics, dance and probably kindermusik as she gets older.  I do not want them to convert to what some other child their age thinks is "cool," but I do want them to be able to function in our society.  We are part of a great church, several homeschool co-ops, sports groups, and social groups.  If you met my son, you will quickly realize he is not shy, easily talks with people of all ages, and has a kind spirit.  My husband and I are committed to making sure our children have enough activities outside the home. We actually struggle not over-committing and give him plenty of opportunities to interact with others and be a kid.  In fact, many homeschoolers will tell you that they over-socialize.  When you can get all your schoolwork done in half the time or less, you have more free time to socialize with others.

5. Goals: This goes back to our number one reason for homeschooling.  Our number one goal for our children is to grow up knowing about the God we serve.  We want them to trust the Word of God and know they can always count on our Creator.  We can also protect their innocence a little longer.  We don't have to deal with as much peer pressure and are able to limit their exposure to things that really no child should be exposed to.  They can wear what they want to wear without feeling judged.  I don't have to worry about unhealthy food that is served at a school.  When he needs to sleep in, he can.

6. Travel: Our family loves traveling. Since we homeschool we can plan our vacations around our school schedule and often will be able to get a better deal by going off season. We can also customize them to what we're studying if we want to.

These are the main reasons for why we are homeschooling. If you're thinking about homeschooling, I encourage you to give it some serious thought. You might find that you really like it. 

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